It's no secret that NFL players put in a lot of hours to get where they are, and they face the best of the best each and every day. They know a tough, gritty player when they see one.
Last week, Richard Sherman ranked Julian Edelman as one of the most underrated receivers he's ever faced, and now, another Patriots player is getting attention.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders recognized some of the toughest cornerbacks he's faced off against in his seven-year career. In an essay written for "The Players' Tribune," Emmanuel listed none other than Malcolm Butler as one of his most challenging foes.
"He's always doing those extra little things to make you uncomfortable — jamming you as hard as he possibly can at the line of scrimmage, or giving the ball an extra punch just when you think you got it secured," Emmanuel wrote.
He also praises Malcolm's ability to catch his opponent just when they think they've got him beat.
"You have to be very disciplined and have a lot of trust in your catch-up speed, as well as your safety help," he wrote. "And really, you gotta have some guts to play that brand of cornerback. And I don't think anybody in the league does it better right now than Malcolm."
Malcolm has definitely proven that with plenty of incredible plays when the Patriots have needed it most. Emmanuel also sings the praises of Marcus Peters of the Kansas City Chiefs, who he calls a "ball hawk," A.J. Bouye, Richard Sherman and Darelle Revis.
Honestly, we couldn't have said it any better. Check out Emmanuel's essay here to see how he breaks down everyone's style of play.